Metta Workshop | 4 Oct 2014 @ Aloka Meditation Centre

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by Sean Mendis

2014Oct-1

Due to a growing interest in metta meditation and metta circles in Australia, Venerable Mahinda initiated the idea of holding a Metta Workshop at Aloka Meditation Centre, in Peats Ridge, Australia. Organised by the Australian Buddhist Mission (ABM) and Aloka Community Incorporated (ACI), the purpose of the workshop was for people to experience metta in their hearts, as well as to provide relevant information about what is metta, how to practice metta, and why practice metta. The workshop also aimed to provide guidance for anyone who is keen to start a metta circle or would like to join an existing one.

Approximately 150 participants attended, far surpassing initial expectations. One of the highlights of the workshop was simply having so many different ethnic, religious, social and cultural backgrounds coming together, which demonstrates the power of metta and its application in modern everyday life.

Bhante Mahinda opened the workshop by welcoming the participants, administering the five precepts and leading the participants through the day’s first metta meditation.

Bhante Mahinda opened the workshop by welcoming the participants, administering the five precepts and leading the participants through the day’s first metta meditation.

 

The workshop also consisted of two guest speakers.

The first guest speaker was Dr. Chien Hoong Gooi who is a Clinical Psychologist and Buddhist teacher who seeks to integrate western psychology with the practices of Buddhist meditation. Dr. Gooi’s session explored the psychological benefits of metta, as well as the power of language and thought in affecting our own and others’ wellbeing.

The first guest speaker was Dr. Chien Hoong Gooi who is a Clinical Psychologist and Buddhist teacher who seeks to integrate western psychology with the practices of Buddhist meditation. Dr. Gooi’s session explored the psychological benefits of metta, as well as the power of language and thought in affecting our own and others’ wellbeing.

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The second guest speaker was Christine Bannigan who is a natural therapist, teacher and catalyst for transformation. Christine spoke about her journey as an ex-corporate high flyer and cancer survivor, sharing her personal transformations through metta.

The second guest speaker was Christine Bannigan who is a natural therapist, teacher and catalyst for transformation. Christine spoke about her journey as an ex-corporate high flyer and cancer survivor, sharing her personal transformations through metta.

 

The workshop also comprised of a breakout session, where the participants were divided into groups to obtain a first-hand experience of what it is like to be part of a metta circle. The groups sat through a metta meditation together as well as shared their intention for wanting to practise metta and how it could benefit themselves and others.

The workshop also comprised of a breakout session, where the participants were divided into groups to obtain a first-hand experience of what it is like to be part of a metta circle. The groups sat through a metta meditation together as well as shared their intention for wanting to practise metta and how it could benefit themselves and others.

 

Venerable Mahinda concluded the workshop by speaking about how he has seen the benefits of metta meditation time and again over his more than 40 years of practising and teaching metta meditation. He also spoke of the urgent need for metta and how we can counter fear, chaos and division in our world by awakening through metta.

One of the ways which metta can be promoted is through metta circles, which create peace-loving and harmonious communities overcoming religious, cultural, ethnic and social divisions. We hope to see more and more like-minded people coming together to practise metta for the benefit of themselves, their families, communities, nations and the world at large. Sadhu!

Jeff, President of Aloka Meditation Centre

Jeff, President of Aloka Meditation Centre

 

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